December 07, 2006

Chance Encounters

Sometimes the best memories come from encounters that happen entirely by chance, making one wonder if there really is such a thing as coincidence or if it's not all part of the "master plan".

Take yesterday for example. We were walking back to our car after visiting several art fairs here in Miami, when we passed by an open garage door. For some reason we stuck our heads in and just saw a big space with construction materials so we turned and left, embarrassed to have been caught trespassing. A young man followed us out and asked if he could help us. Then he invited us in to have a look saying "if you don't come in, you've wasted an opportunity". We hesitated, then followed him in and discovered a wonderland of tropical scenes and animals, all created using Puma shoes! We had inadvertently stumbled upon a fabulous installation entitled "Human Nature" - an artistic collaboration between PUMA footwear and the Colombian artist Federico Uribe. Mr. Uribe uses daily objects, such as colored pencils or in this case athletic shoes and reinterprets them in unexpected ways. He has already achieved quite a level of success and his work is represented by galleries in Europe, North and South America. It was, in fact, Mr. Uribe himself who invited us to come in and look and not taking him up on his very friendly offer would truly have been a missed opportunity!

It has been very windy and stormy here in South Florida. Not exactly beach weather but with only a few days, what's a body to do? So every morning, sun or clouds, we take a walk on the beach and then jump into the surf. The wind was howling this morning and the clouds ominous, but we took off anyway and headed South towards Miami. There, in the distance, was a parachute, or was it? Getting closer we saw it was actually a "para surfer", a modified surfboard with a small parachute attached. The surfer himself was a real pro and treated us to a show of swoops and flips and aerial jumps while shooting across the waves on his board. A private performance of water acrobatics that was a thrill to watch!

So the point is, in this season of miracles, whether you are a believer or not, there is magic to be found in the most unlikely places. Just open up your mind and say "yes"!

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